From today, Maharashtra government will fine people for carrying a plastic bag today. According to a report, the defaulters will have to fork out as much as Rs 5000 as a penalty. Speaking to media, state environment minister Ramdas Kadam said that the government will ensure that the common man and the small traders are not harassed and penalised under this new law. However, he added that willful offences will be penalised. The minister spoke about the new law after a review meeting with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board officials.

According to a report, on March 23, 2018, the Maharashtra government headed by BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis imposed a ban on manufacturing, sale and use of distribution and storage of plastic materials such as plastic spoons, plates, PETE bottles and thermacol items. The administration has given 90 days time for the disposal of existing material kept in the godowns.

As per the new rules and regulations, the first offence of using a plastic bag or related products will invite a fine of Rs 5,000, for the second time Rs 10,000 will be imposed as a penalty and for third, a person has to shell out Rs 25000 and 3 months imprisonment. Notably, all the civic bodies and government employees are authorised to take strict action against the defaulters.

The report further suggests that Kadam conducted a review meeting, where the ministers of the ruling government along with the opposition leaders such as Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray were invited to give out their views.

Talking more about the development, Kadan said that all the manufacturers of plastic have assured the Maharashtra government that they will soon recycle the material in the coming days. We don’t want to see any more plastic littered on the roadside, he added.

The report furthers stated that a couple of youths residing in the state had asked for exemption on thermocol for Ganeshotsav.On this, Kadan added that these groups will have to file an affidavit in writing, taking responsibility for collecting and disposing the material on time. Notably, the state environment department is yet to take a call on this. 

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